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Posts tagged with ‘games’

Puzzle Post 08

Trying out hexagons as a base shape today. Lots of interesting opportunities with the additional sides available to line up on, but I find it hard to avoid full symmetry.

Please, no spoilers in the comments.

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Puzzle 08

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 3 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

image

Think you’ve sorted it out? Click here for the solution.

Any feedback? I’d love to hear if you found the puzzle too easy, too hard, too boring, just right, evil incarnate, etc. Leave a comment or drop me a note on twitter.

Puzzle Post 07

Only 3 pieces in this puzzle, really tough to obfuscate the piece shape without more pieces thrown around but I wanted to experiment with it.

Another finding is that puzzles that are fully symmetrical almost always have really simple alternate solutions, it seems like 1-axis symmetry is okay but 2-axis is a big no-no.

Please, no spoilers in the comments.

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Puzzle 07

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 3 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

Think you’ve sorted it out? Click here for the solution.

Any feedback? I’d love to hear if you found the puzzle too easy, too hard, too boring, just right, evil incarnate, etc. Leave a comment or drop me a note on twitter.

Puzzle Post 06

Back to triangles with this puzzle - I tried a slightly different method of constructing the puzzle, not sure if it got better results or not.

But both this puzzle and the previous one were an attempt to keep the total number of pieces to 4 or less. I’m trying to determine if the number of the pieces in a puzzle changes difficulty more than the size/complexity of the shape. (e.g. is a puzzle with 5 pieces that have 15 triangles each easier or harder than a puzzle with 15 pieces that have 5 triangles each?) I figure the best thing to do is try to make a baseline of fairly simple puzzles and then scale out from there.

Please, no spoilers in the comments.

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Puzzle 06

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 4 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

image

Think you’ve sorted it out? Click here for the solution.

Any feedback? I’d love to hear if you found the puzzle too easy, too hard, too boring, just right, evil incarnate, etc. Leave a comment or drop me a note on twitter.

Puzzle Post 05

The last puzzle was a bit of a mess, I focused so much on puzzle symmetry I lost sight of some very simple alternate solutions. Hopefully not with this one! Please, no spoilers in the comments.

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Puzzle 05

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 4 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

Think you’ve sorted it out? Click here for the solution.

Any feedback? I’d love to hear if you found the puzzle too easy, too hard, too boring, just right, evil incarnate, etc. Leave a comment or drop me a note on twitter.

Puzzle Post 03

First dissection puzzle using cubes instead of triangles as a base. Please, no spoilers in the comments.

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Puzzle 03

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 5 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

Think you’ve sorted it out? Click here for the solution.

Any feedback? I’d love to hear if you found the puzzle too easy, too hard, too boring, just right, evil incarnate, etc. Leave a comment or drop me a note on twitter.

Puzzle Post 02

Another dissection puzzle - enjoy! Please no spoilers in the comments.

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Puzzle 02

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 6 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

image

Think you’ve sorted it out? Click here for the solution.

Any feedback? I’d love to hear if you found the puzzle too easy, too hard, too boring, just right, evil incarnate, etc. Leave a comment or drop me a note on twitter.

Puzzle Post 01

I’ve gotten interested in puzzle design lately, and it’s a far cry from the more action/arcade stuff I’m used to making. So to try and learn more about it, I’ll be making puzzles occasionally and posting them here for people to try.

So, enjoy! If you have any feedback (too easy, too hard, unclear, evil, boring, etc) I’d love to hear it. You can talk to me on twitter or just leave a comment on the puzzle. But no spoilers, please!

The solution is posted as a link below the puzzle.

PUZZLE 01

New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.

Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 5 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.

image

Think you know what the answer is? Click here for the solution.

Building and running unity’s master server

Today unity’s Master Server has been down for me and so I decided to finally get my own version of it up and running. But it doesn’t compile out of the box, so here were the changes I needed to make to get things up and running on linux (Ubuntu 14):

Server Side:

  1. On ubuntu install all the tools you’ll need for compilation (sudo apt-get install build-essentials)
  2. Download the master server and facilitator source from here.
  3. Unzip Master Server into a new directory.
  4. In the Makefile, replace all instances of “-lpthread” with “-pthread”
  5. At the bottom of the Makefile , find the cpp.o target and add “-fpermissive” to the command (e.g.: $(CC) -c -Wall -fpermissive -I$(INCLUDE)…)
  6. Run make
  7. Unzip Facilitator to another directory and do steps 4-6 again.

At this point you should have both a MasterServer and Facilitator binary for your server. Setting them up to run automatically and tuning their settings is really an individual thing, but I set mine up to automatically start with the server by using an init.d script. I also set up a separate user to run them.

Client Side

So now you need to tell your client to use your up and running master server. This is pretty easy, just four lines of code that you set before you make any other networking calls:

Network.natFacilitatorIP = <host ip>;
Network.natFacilitatorPort = <facilitator port>;
MasterServer.ipAddress = <host ip>;
MasterServer.port = <master server port>;

And that’s it! At this point you should be up and running against your own master server.

My Thoughts on the Oculus Acquisition

… WHAT THE FUCK?!?

That was my initial reaction, but after sleeping on it I’m more interested in trying to understand what it actually means for the Rift and VR over the long term. I think we can look at it from a few different perspectives, so I’ll try to address them individually.

For those of you who don’t want to read my rambling: The tl;dr is that in the short term I think this is a win for both the hardware and the low level software, but I have concerns about long term direction, research, and dealing with Facebook as a 3rd party developer.

The Hardware (Short-Term)

The FB acquisition gives Oculus a ton of purchasing power and leverage when trying to get components to build the consumer kit. It’s hard to see how this is anything but a major win for consumers - the hardware will get better and do so more quickly than it ever could have with Oculus as an independent company.

People discussing this aspect seem to be overhyping what can happen for CV1 though. The Facebook acquisition doesn’t mean we’ll magically get a 4k screen in the initial consumer version. Even if that were a viable part, how many people actually have a computer that can drive 4k at 75Hz or 90Hz?

The Hardware (Long-Term)

The big risk for the gaming community here is if/when the R&D needed for Facebook’s social VR experiences diverges from what is good for games. I don’t think they’ll ever completely diverge, over the last few years we’ve seen game designers use almost every device for games in a unique way. But I do think that tracking and input for games could end up being different than tracking and input for a social experience, and it’ll be sad if Oculus focuses on the social side because of the acquisition.

I could also see a future where Facebook wants Oculus to focus on capture devices for Virtual Reality content and providing that to consumers. As a medium Facebook needs content to share, and right now there is no good way for consumers to author VR content. Again, people will find ways to make a game out of it, but that’s different than focusing on devices that are for games.

The Software (Low Level/Drivers/API)

Like the hardware, I think everyone gets better low level software thanks to the acquisition. They’ll have a bigger team to work on the drivers and libraries, and it should make for a better experience.

The Software (High Level/Platform/Marketplace)

I know Palmer has said that you’ll never be required to have a Facebook login to use the Rift, and I think in the low-level ‘make a game that runs on the rift’, he’s probably correct.  I hope so. At the high level, I would be shocked if distributing content through the official Oculus channels will be done without a Facebook account. I’d also be surprised if any apps or games from Oculus didn’t leverage the Facebook platform as well.  Zuckerberg said that they’re a software platform company, and I expect if you’re using their platform you’re going to have to be part of their ecosystem.

Players/Consumer Adoption

Facebook has a huge audience that they could promote the Rift to, but I’m not sure there’s messaging that could convince the vast majority that buy run of the mill desktop machines to buy a new machine and a VR headset to experience … whatever it is that Facebook wants them to experience.

The early adopters are currently riled up, and I don’t know if any significant number will actually cancel their preorder. But at the very least it’s created a short-term antagonistic relationship with people who I think Oculus still needs to promote VR. Because VR isn’t something you can sell to someone with words or a video, it has to be experienced. So that’s not great.

Facebook as the Steward of Virtual Reality

This is really where a lot of the lashback has come from. Facebook has a negative perception in the community for their behavior towards privacy, antagonistic relationships with 3rd party developers on their platform, and poor support for their libraries and SDKs.

In terms of privacy, there’s no reason to think that Facebook will be well-behaved. If there are metrics or information that are beneficial to their core business (advertising) they will track them. As VR incorporates more sensors, I assume those will also be included if they make sense.  Does this mean that the tracking camera that ships with DK2 is going to start sending pictures back to Facebook? There’s no real value there for Facebook, so I’m guessing the answer is no. If the Oculus ever gets eye tracking would they track what you look at in their content? That seems way more valuable and far more likely. Our best hope here is that the tracking and metrics are part of the higher level software, and I think they’d need to be to have any contextual information. If that’s the case, then developers who target the Rift as a low level VR device should still be able to skip out on it. When Facebook has a VR experience though, assume that data is being tracked.

Anyone worrying about Facebook somehow injecting ads into 3rd party content not running on their platform is being silly, there’s no realistic way that’s going to happen. Could they require ads in stuff that ships on their platform? Sure. We’ll see if that happens in the long run, but in the short term I wouldn’t expect them to dictate that stuff except in their own first party experiences.

For being a 3rd party developer, I don’t know many folks who have had positive experiences with Facebook. But then, Oculus hasn’t exactly been stellar with 3rd party developers either. As a small team they’ve focused on working with a few key partners, and the rest of us have been left to sort things out on our own. I’d like to think that the additional resources provided by Facebook will let Oculus improve their developer outreach, but until that actually happens I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode.

So… What Does All That Mean?

As I said at the top, I think this is a win for the technology in the short term. I have no doubt CV1 will be a better device because of the acquisition, and the software will likely ship in a better state than it would have otherwise.

But for VR to succeed as a platform, the technology isn’t sufficient. It needs early adopters, advocates, and developers pushing the state of the art forward. And that’s the weak spot of this acquisition, may developers and early adopters are turned off by the thought of working with Facebook either due to ethical concerns or past experience as a third party developer.

Introducing the Kamakiri - our second ship for First Law

Introducing the Kamakiri - our second ship for First Law

First Law: The finished space station (diffuse + spec + normal maps)

First Law: The finished space station (diffuse + spec + normal maps)

More work on the space station, normal maps are done, diffuse textures up next

More work on the space station, normal maps are done, diffuse textures up next

More work on the first space station

More work on the first space station

Sorry for the radio silence over the last couple of months - I hit a bad spot in my day job and needed to find new work. But that’s behind me now and I’m happy to share a bit of the work I’ve done in the last week as I get back up to speed.

So what’s new in this build?

  • All new asteroids with high res textures from Alex. This should help for folks who like to fly close to asteroids and check them out for a sense of immersion. Really happy with how they look right now
  • Launching from the docking bay! You launch by setting your throttle to max and get an initial boost by launching directly at max speed. I want to add some camera fx to improve the “slammed into your seat” feel, but it’s a good start.
  • Rough model of the space station. People wanted bigger things in terms of scale, and now you’ve got it. Still need the texture maps and all of the objects that go on the outside (guns, shield generators, etc), but the space station clocks in at 4km in diameter. It’s immensely fun to fly around, and I can’t wait to integrate it into gameplay.
  • You can’t see it, but I’m playing with the Thrustmaster HOTAS flight stick! Really improves the feeling of control, and having a real throttle makes a huge difference. 
More asteroids for First Law
Up next Alex is going to be roughing out all the other shapes I need for the game so I have some pieces to work with while he makes the actual art.

More asteroids for First Law

Up next Alex is going to be roughing out all the other shapes I need for the game so I have some pieces to work with while he makes the actual art.